E-verify Was NOT Used to Screen Mollie Tibbetts’s Killer
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After the arrest of Cristhian Rivera, the accused killer of Mollie Tibbetts, there was quite a bit of consternation that the illegal alien had gamed the immigration system, somehow fooling the E-verify program that indicates whether a foreigner is here legally and eligible to work. A typical reaction on the subject appeared in the San Jose Mercury: Arrest in Mollie Tibbetts murder raises questions about E-verify program.

E-verify was supposed to be dependable and a vital enforcement tool — what happened?

But it turns out the identification check done on the farm where Rivera worked did not use E-verify as had been claimed, but instead utilized the Social Security system, as reported by the Associated Press:

Dane Lang, manager of Yarrabee Farms in Brooklyn, Iowa, said that Cristhian Bahena Rivera presented an out-of-state government-issued photo identification and a matching social security card when he was hired in 2014. Lang says, “our employee is not who he said he was.”

Lang said the farm ran the information through the Social Security Administration’s employment verification system and it checked out. He said the farm didn’t use the E-Verify system as it asserted in a statement Tuesday night, saying an employee was mistaken.

Social Security cards were never designed to be used for identification, so the explanation sounds suspect. Perhaps it’s a kind of E-verify-Lite convenient for Iowa farmers who hire a lot of sketchy foreigners.

E-verify uses national databases the check the identity of the person being investigated, as shown by the USCIS information video below:

Here’s an article with more details about how the Mexican Cristhian Rivera got to stay in Iowa and murder:

Farm that hired Cristhian Rivera, Mollie Tibbetts’ suspected killer, did not use E-Verify system, official says, Fox News, August 22, 2018

The Mexican national accused of murdering college student Mollie Tibbetts in Iowa last month livd in the United States illegally for several years — and worked for a farm that used Social Security Administration data in part to vet potential employees, according to officials there.

However, Yarrabee Farms co-owner and manager Dane Lang clarified Tuesday afternoon that the farm did not use a federal E-Verify check on suspect Cristhian Rivera, despite the company’s claim earlier in the day that it did.

Lang said Rivera provided a state-issued photo identification and social security card. “We learned that our employee was not who he said he is.”

Rivera, 24, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder Tuesday after the body of Tibbetts, a 20-year-old University of Iowa student, was discovered in a cornfield about 12 miles southeast of Brooklyn, where she was last seen running. Police said Rivera was in the country illegally and an immigration detainer was placed on him after his arrest.

[. . .]

Identity fraud is the most common way illegal immigrants and “unscrupulous employers” try to thwart the system, said Jessica Vaughan, the director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies.

While the details regarding how Rivera may have gamed the system remain unclear, Vaughan said many of the cases prosecuted in the past have seen an illegal immigrant simply purchase fraudulent identities.

“There have been cases of inmates selling their identities because they are incarcerated and don’t need them,” she said.

In one Massachusetts case, a hiring manager actually had an agreement with an identity vendor across the street who would help any illegal immigrant receive an identity that would pass muster, Vaughan said.

“They would send them across the street and tell them to come back later,” she said.

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